The end for AHS:Coven begins with Stevie Nicks walking through magically opened doors of Miss Robichaux’s Academy, and she is singing “Seven Wonders”. For me it’s a 1987 music video flashback saturated in warm golden sepia tones that gives an almost Holy glow to Stevie and the Academy. She sounds great, but the lip-syncing is obvious as she twirls about the school house during a montage. Zoe is studying spell books while her bed levitates; Misty is twirling & growing flowers; Madison is soaking in a bath surrounded by candles that she lights with a delicate movement of her fingers; and Queenie is paying tribute to Nan with a shrine as she tries to communicate with her. That was a sweet touch. And was that Myrtle making it rain with glitter? As the witches strut downstairs Stevie is waiting for them, “Good luck girls”, and then her inevitable goodbye as she walks out the front door as it magically closes behind her.
Myrtle brings the Coven together for her version of The Last Supper because their lives will change soon with either Supremacy or death. Cordelia takes another shot at Fiona’s shortcomings as Supreme. She quoted 1 Corinthians 13:11 but changed the gender “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, thought like a child, reasoned like a child. But when I became a woman, I put aside childish things.” It turns out that this applied more to Cordelia’s growth as an adult & a witch because her mother’s approval was no longer a factor, enabling her to become the POWERFUL woman she needed to be.
They began the Seven Wonders tests with Kyle as the Coven’s assistant-cum-manservant. Telekinesis was easy for all. Concilium (mind control) is next, and Myrtle says “Let’s see which of you fillies has really got the stuff”, so Misty makes Queenie slap herself silly, and in return Queenie makes Misty yank her own hair. Fiona had personally tutored Madison back in episode 3, and it showed because she TURNED IT UP a notch and simultaneously mind controlled both Zoe & Kyle. While Zoe is slapping herself, Madison forced Kyle to kiss her and lick her boots as Zoe helplessly watched. Zoe ping pongs Kyle back to her for a kiss (ewww she was licking boots by proxy), and Madison makes him strangle her. Blind Cordelia senses the foolery and sends Kyle flying into the wall with a flick of her wrist. We’ve never seen her pull one of those Fiona style moves before. All the while Myrtle is puffing on her fancy cigarette rolling her eyes at the cattiness between Zoe & Madison.
Descensum is next and the most dangerous. They must descent into Hell and return before sun up; or they die and stay there for eternity. Queenie has done this before and has no problem returning. Madison also returned, but her Hell was laughably traumatic “I was stuck on a network musical. It was a live version of ‘The Sound of Music’. I wasn’t even the lead! I was Liesl!” NBC just got SERVED by Ryan Murphy. #LOL. Zoe’s experience in Hell was breaking up with Kyle on a loop, though I expected hers to involve her killer lady bits.
In Hell Misty found herself reliving her worst experience in school on dissection day forced to kill a living frog and bring it back to life over and over again. Misty is stuck and time is running out. While Cordelia tries to bring her out of it, Myrtle poses with her martini as she stoically announces “Her time is up,” and Misty turns to dust as the hourglass runs out. My wish for Misty is that there is an 8-track player in that class playing ‘Rhiannon’ over and over. Just like Nan, she would never hurt anyone, and I don’t understand why the writers cursed her in Hell forever. It seems a message of AHS is being a good person doesn’t disqualify you from Hell.
Death is part of the process, so the witches regroup and continue with the tests. Transmutation is next on the agenda, and the witches make it carefree game of tag, until Zoe ends up impaled on the spike of the iron fence. It reminded me of Cordelia’s vision when she saw Zoe impaled on the wall. I thought maybe this was a sign that a variant of her vision was coming true. Am I the only that thought that? Queenie fails at reviving Zoe with Vitalum Vitalis, and Madison flat out refuses to make the effort on Zoe, but instead chooses to prove she is Supreme worthy by killing and reviving a fly. What an entitled witch bitch she is as she insists “Crown me or kiss my ass.”
Though it seems that Madison does have the strengths, Cordelia is saddened that FionaV2.0 maybe the only option left for the Supreme. Sharing Cordelia’s opinion about Madison, Myrtle would have been pleased with Misty or Zoe as Supreme. As Cordelia starts to drown in her self-pity Auntie Myrtle recognizes that Cordelia has got what it takes to be Supreme. She argues that she was suppressed by her own mother, and then suppressed by her own insecurities. Eloquently Myrtle surmises that the actual power resides in Cordelia, and that the young witches are just vessels for her own power. She tearfully begs “You have royal blood in your veins. You must perform the Seven Wonders.”
Madison is pissed that Cordelia is participating in the tests, and accuses them of cheating her out of the Supremacy. As Madison scoffs Cordelia performs with ease. She lights a candle, mind controls Queenie to jazzercise, gracefully lifts a piano, and descends & returns from her personal Hell of having Fiona reject her while getting bitch slapped over and over. Even blind she can transmute and pop around the house. Cordelia needs to succeed at 2 more tests, Divination & Vitalum Vitalis. Cordelia succeeds at performing Divination in locating items hidden in the house, but Madison fails in her attempts. She throws a tantrum accusing them of cheating, and dismisses the Coven as a jacked up version of Celebrity Rehab. She is going back to Hollywood where people are “normal” and plans on ruining the Coven by exposing them on TMZ and storms off.
While Madison is packing to leave, an angry & grieving Kyle confronts her and begins to choke her, “Why did you let her die?” She is gasping for breath as he screams, “We both went there. We both came back. Why?” Through her gasping sobs “I did it for us. I love you. Please please.” He coldly replies before he strangles her to death, “You’re not that good an actress.” Just as Madison takes her last breath, Myrtle is supervising Cordelia as she successfully breathes life back into Zoe. Ghostly Spalding appears using a severed doll hand to stroke Madison’s hair much to Kyle’s surprise, “Who the hell are you?” Introducing himself as “the help” Spalding offers to help bury Madison. Better for her to be buried than become his dead sex toy again.
Successful at performing all the Seven Wonders, Cordelia is crowned the Supreme with no pomp or circumstance. She has magically regained a matching set of eyes and radiates glowing good health, thanks to the soft lighting guy. Well it turns out the new Supreme is the one witch who did NOT die, unlike all the other candidates.
We are jolted ahead in time, and Cordelia is gorgeous, confident, and head strong giving media interviews and proudly exposing the nature of witches and the Coven. This is a stark contrast to the first episode when she insisted that young witches control their powers & hide their witchery from the public to protect them from becoming targets of hate crimes. Now she feels it would be safer for witches to be out in the open than to be hiding under threats in the shadows. It was hard not to think of this as an allegory about LBGT issues from this narrative after a season of racial issues. The Coven has a website, and Cordelia invites any woman who thinks she is witch to contact the Academy. In recent years the Academy was under capacity, and the number of student witches was dwindling, but now is flooded with applications from witches.
Cordelia tells Myrtle she wants to elevate Queenie & Zoe to become the youngest members of the Witches Council. Myrtle is proud of Cordelia, but as Supreme she has to do difficult things. She confesses she must be punished for killing Pembroke & Quentin. She doesn’t want Cordelia’s Supremacy to be tainted referencing ABSCAM & Watergate. “You want to be burned at the stake…again?” Myrtle replies “Now that you’re in charge, my life’s work is fulfilled. I killed so I must pay for it.” Cordelia is reluctant to assert punishment, but Myrtle scolds her to NOT be a hypocrite to the Coven. Cordelia as Supreme has to punish Myrtle by death, a woman that she loves and considered her real mother.
Stevie Nicks’ “Silver Springs” plays as Myrtle proudly leads her own death procession wearing the most romantic billowing red gown. Cordelia, Zoe, Queenie follow her to the stake as she is drenched in gasoline by the Albinos dressed in black. Cordelia follows protocol and tearfully decrees Myrtle Snow to death for her crimes and asks her for her last words. “Only one,” then Myrtle gutturally screams “BALENCIAGA” as Cordelia ignites the flames. #GoodbyeMyrtleSnow
There is long line of applicants all dressed in black leading up to the Academy’s gate. Cordelia is willing to buy more houses to accommodate all the young interested student witches. This is a new age for the Coven and invites Queenie & Zoe to be her right hand on the Witches Council. Cordelia telepathically hears Fiona laughing, but before she opens the doors for new witches, she has one more thing to deal with, Mommie dearest. #StillAliveBitches
Cordelia finds Fiona sitting in the living room amongst all the portraits of past Supremes, “I saw you die.” Fiona whispers “Look again now that you have real vision”. Fiona never got axed and fed to the alligators. It was just a faked vision. She planted a memory of her death that never happened by giving the Axeman some of her magic spit straight into his mouth. Her plan was to go to Paris for a few days, and allow the new Supreme to rise, then kill her and regain her powers. With the help of the Axeman Fiona ruined a good pair of Jimmy Choos and set up all the trickery with goat’s blood which fooled Cordelia into sensing Fiona’s death. That is some powerful witch spit.
Fiona is still smoking, nearly bald as the progression of cancer & diseases have ravaged her beauty. Her death is what she has feared & fought all this time. But near death now, her appearance was a shocking site, especially since she looks just like Jon Voight. Fiona tells of her plan to let Cordelia do the dirty work in identifying the Supreme, and then she will take her out. “It’s harder when it turns out to be your own daughter?” Fiona grins “Not really”, and I believe her too.
With Fiona’s death imminent they engage in an honest heart to heart mother/daughter chat. Fiona admits to being an awful mother because “You took my power the moment I gave birth to you”, and Fiona was forced to face her own mortality. Fiona admitted that seeing Cordelia was a constant reminder of her own death and worst fears. She admits to loving her but in her own way. Fiona can feel Cordelia’s power vibrating. She tells her daughter, “I have to die for you to truly live.”
With tears Cordelia tells Fiona that for her entire life she was the monster in every one of her closets. While Fiona toys with the knife that she has killed with before, Cordelia talked about the little girl who was still inside of her. That little girl would die when Fiona died. Waving her old knife Fiona said “Then kill them both right now.” Fiona did kill her spiritual mother, Anna Leigh, and it would be dramatic irony for Fiona to be killed with the same knife by her own daughter.
Brandishing the knife she wants Cordelia to kill her so she can fulfill her own destiny as Supreme. She struggles to get up and begs her daughter for mercy to kill her. Cordelia takes the knife and puts it down on the side table as she hugs her very frail mother, “For the first time in your life, no power, no magic.” (At this moment I really thought Fiona was going to pick up the knife and backstab her own daughter but NO.) Cordelia tells Fiona to face the inevitable. She is no longer divine but finally having a human experience, and she tells Fiona to feel and accept the terror of death. Fiona takes her last breath and dies in her daughter’s arms.
Fiona once dreamt of a life of eternity with the Axeman on his farm but not like this. She is now in her own version of Hell; trapped in a cabin with smelly catfish and the very horny crotch grabbing Axeman. Every day she slaps him for being vulgar, and every day he punches her back for her drunkenness. Every day over and over. She blames Cordelia for this. She agonizes that this is her life for eternity inside a cabin made of “knawwttty piiiiines,” sounding like Maggie from “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.” This eternal existence is Heaven for the Axeman, but for Fiona this is her Hell because Papa Legba always has the last laugh.
Kyle, the butler, opens the Academy’s doors for the new student witches, and they flood in. And with a happy ending, Cordelia with Zoe & Queenie by her side welcomed them. “What’s a Supreme?” asks one of the new girls. Someone replies, “You’re looking at her.” Cordelia’s pride beams. THE END
I have a lot more editorializing to add, but I will write them in the comments below. I hope we can keep the discussion alive for a while after we have had time to process, so we can have a bitchfest about all the PLOTHOLES & inconsistencies. Please share what your favorite moments, characters, lines, and scenes are. What was the message you got from American Horror Story:Coven?
Thank you Tamara for inviting me into your home here and mentoring me. I promise to work on being more succinct, and you will always be Supreme to your adoring readers. Thank you all for being such a dedicated engaging bunch of scurrdy cats. I had fun. And please stalk me on twitter @Urethra_F .